The Tucson Festival of Books is getting ready to start virtually

TUCSON, Arizona (KGUN) – The Tucson Festival of Books is still finding a way to reach book lovers.

“Our writers will come to us from their hometowns. Some of them are, of course, local Tucson writers,” said Melanie Morgan, the festival’s executive director.

For the year 2021, the festival will run virtually. “It actually enables a lot of people who have had accessibility problems in the past to visit the festival. So we hope that we can continue to do so in the future.” said Morgan.

She recalls that last year everything had to be canceled just four days before the first event, but the organizers were able to try out a few sessions online later.
“They were so well received and popular that we did one a week through May,” Morgan said.

Book lovers can hop online on Saturday March 6th, where everything is free.
“People can still attend our writers’ dinner for free this year, which is usually a paid event, so you can attend this Friday night as well,” added Morgan.

165 authors take part. That number may be lower than years ago, but Morgan said, “Since we’re virtual, we can access writers we only wanted for the festival for years, but for some reason they couldn’t travel to Tucson.”

Morgan calls the author line-up fabulous. “One of the writers I’m looking forward to the most this year is Dean Koontz. He’s a very popular writer and couldn’t come to the festival.”

Reading enthusiasts have 96 sessions to choose from. “We also have some really fantastic political writers. Ann Applebaum joins us. Her book is the twilight of democracy,” said Morgan.

Much of the festival fun is for the kids too. “Gene Yang, who couldn’t come to us last year because the festival was canceled. He’s coming back this year. His book is Dragon Hoops.”

For Teachers, Morgan added, “Any teacher can go to the festival website and learn how to get their free vocational training credit from the festival this year. All they have to do is fill out a quick form and they’ll get it Information sent. “

You can still buy books and support local literacy programs. The official bookseller for the festival is the University of Arizona Bookstores. “Each session will have a link where they can buy a book from the bookstore and of course support the bookstores that you know have obviously seen a lot of changes due to the pandemic,” Morgan said.

The Tucson Festival of Books was able to raise funds for literacy programs, but these were not as large as they were before the pandemic. “They are in the pandemic and the great thing about Literacy Connects is that people, individuals, can support them. Even if they don’t support the festival, they are eligible for the tax credit,” Morgan said.

For now, check out the writers’ sessions and events taking place at the Tucson Virtual Festival of Books starting Friday night. Click here to go to the festival website.


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